Getting Your Final Year Project​ and Write Proposal

Overview

  • General Information.
  • Finding Your Project.​
  • Project Costs​.
  • Project Commitment​.
  • Project Parameters​.
  • Commitment from the client.
  • Contact Time with Client.

Finding Your Final Year Research Project​

  1. You are encouraged to approach organisations on your own behalf, to identify potential projects.​
  2. If you are already in full-time or part-time employment it is sensible to choose a project which contributes to your employer’s business. ​
  3. You and your employer are best placed to identify a suitable body of work.

Final Year Research Project Costs

There is normally no direct monetary cost to an organisation offering a project to a student.​ However, sponsors may be prepared to reimburse out of pocket expenses, such as travel.

Final Year Project Commitment

The sponsor must commit to supporting the student in terms of appropriate resources such as: ​

  • Time​
  • Access to staff​
  • Access to facilities​
  • Providing feedback/evaluation of the practical deliverable

Final Year Project Parameters

In all cases the Department’s main concern will be to ensure that the chosen project is

– of an appropriate standard to warrant the M.Sc. ​

  • and 

– of a suitable size for it to be completed in the timescale specified.

Projects must have the following features:​

  • An explicit, identified, client.​
  • Approximately 600 hours of work in total​
    • (of which 300 hours is practical work).​
  • It must be individual in nature: ​
    • if it is part of a larger project each student’s contribution must be coherent, discrete and well-defined
  • The practical work must result in a clearly defined product for the client.

Projects must also have the following features:

  • The practical aspect must have a clear link with the specific masters programme being studied. 
  • The student must involve the client in evaluating the practical work.
  • It must offer sufficient scope for the student to conduct a critical review of current, and relevant, literature in one specific research area.
    • This literature must feed into the practical aspect of your project in a defined manner.

Commitment from the project client

  • The client must to be able to identify a product (e.g. software artefact, strategic study, etc) that: 
    • they want, 
    • is of worth to them,
    • can be completed within 300 hours of work.
  • Your client should be consulted over the aim, objectives & procedures for the practical work. 
    • This must result in an agreement that is “signed off” in your project Terms of Reference and product requirements.
  • Your client needs to be able to support you by providing 
    • sufficient contact time with you, 
    • any specific facilities (e.g. particular software or hardware), 
    • access to relevant documents and /or personnel as required for the particular project.
  • Your client (or his/her organisation) needs to be involved in the evaluation of your product.
  • The requirements will vary from project to project but can be stereotyped as: 
    • more time at the start (as the scope is fully defined).
    • less in the middle and then.
    • more towards the end: during the evaluation period.

The Project Client​

  • How will you interact with them?
    • Face to face; email; phone; Skype; etc…
    • Informal; formal interview – consider time.
    • Where/How long will each meeting take?
    • Consider travel also.
  • Why will you interact with them?
    • What do you need from them?
    • Input into various stages, e.g. Analysis, Design, Development, Testing & product/client evaluation
  • How/when will the interactions be documented?
    • Paper/audio/video? 

Outlining a Project Proposal​

  • Each student looks for a project with an independent client and produces a project proposal in liaison with the client (using the project proposal form). 
  • Each student must send their project proposal to their programme leader for approval/feedback;
    • this process may be iterative​.
  • A project won’t be approved unless there is;
    • (i) an independent client, and 
    • (ii) a clear deliverable required by the client that is appropriate to the student’s particular programme​.

Final Year Project Proposal Forms​

3 Forms to be completed:​

  • Student Generated Projects
    • Student Project Proposal Form
  • Sponsored projects
    • Sponsor Proposal Form
    • Application for an Advertised Project

Information Required ​in the Proposal

  • Name of Student
    • when this is a student-generated project.
  • Programme
    • To ensure the match between programme and practical work is suitable.
  • Name of Sponsoring Organisation/Individual.      
  • Postal address of Sponsoring Organisation/ Individual.      
  • Name of Contact  at Sponsoring Organisation (Client) and contact details​.
    • This may be different from the sponsor​.
    • Should be the day-to-day contact.
  • Practical Project 
    • Brief overview of the sponsoring organisation​.
      • one paragraph to set the context​.
    • Practical Outcome of the project​.
      • what will be produced and delivered to the sponsor, 
      • it must be possible to produce this deliverable within approximately 300 hours of work.
  • Specific requirements within the project: 
    • provide a bullet point list of specific requirements the sponsor has: 
      • in terms of the final product, 
      • the process of developing it, 
      • any interim deliverables, etc.
  • Specific skills required in the project.
    • Highlighting knowledge beyond the taught modules​.
  • Clear relationship between project and your programme​.
  • Specific constraints affecting the project.
  • Where will the student work? 
    • On site at the company? 
      • will reasonable travelling expenses be re-imbursed? 
    • On site at the University?
    • To be negotiated?

Be S.M.A.R.T or S.M.A.R.T.E.R

Full Meaning of S.M.A.R.T

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Or ‘SMARTER

  • Evaluated
  • Re-evaluated